A hospital in Syracuse, New York, has suspended 122 health care workers who hadn’t received a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27, the deadline imposed by the state to do so.
St. Joseph’s Health told local media that workers who don’t receive the vaccine by Oct. 8 face termination. Suspended workers received their letters informing them that they won’t receive pay, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Quinn said.
“If they get vaccinated, they are eligible for rehire and we would welcome them back,” Quinn told Syracuse.com, noting that suspended employees who get vaccinated and return within one year can retain their tenure.
The hospital said in a statement that it will examine “all our options to help ease the burden this may put on our staff including pausing some services, consolidating our [operating rooms], and adjusting elective surgeries.”
Thousands of nurses, doctors, and other health care workers face suspensions or potential terminations after a statewide mandate went into effect in New York state on Sept. 27. Due to a potential shortage of staff, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency to potentially allow for the hiring of National Guard members with medical training, retired nurses, nurses from out of state, or health care workers from other countries at hospitals around the state.
“Last night, I took bold action and signed an executive order that will alleviate potential staffing shortages in our hospitals and other health care facilities across New York State,” Hochul wrote on Twitter on Sept. 28.
According to the governor’s office, about 16 percent of all health care workers in New York haven’t been vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the pathogen that causes COVID-19.
Disruptions at some New York state hospitals already have occurred due to the mandate.
Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester announced a temporary pause to some elective procedures, and a spokesman for the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo warned that the facility could lose a significant amount of daily revenue.
“We had to make a decision as to where we could temporarily make some changes so that we could ensure other areas of services are as little affected as possible,” Erie County Medical Center spokesman Peter Cutler told news outlets this week, noting that the elective procedures bring in about $1 million per day. “Financially, it’s a big deal.”
Northwell Health, the state’s largest health care employer with two dozen hospitals and 74,000 staff, told The Epoch Times that some unvaccinated employees were told that they were no longer in compliance with the statewide mandate.
“We have begun a process to exit all unvaccinated team members, using a carefully planned approach that both maintains continuity of care at all of our facilities and ensures the safety of all of our patients,” spokesman Jason Molinet said in an emailed statement on Sept. 28.